Pierreponts is a coffee shop that suits its surroundings as perfectly as any could be expected to. Situated a very short walk from the River Thames in Goring, Berkshire, it is all old-English charm in spite of its Gallic sounding name. It has the feel and decor of a cosy, shabby-chic tea room. But its menu and brand values are far more sophisticated than those of your average cafe.
Food glorious food
This is a cafe-restaurant that takes food seriously. Pierreponts serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and, on Fridays, supper (with wine, hurrah). The owners Steph and Phil Kingsland are passionate about fresh and locally sourced produce. Portions are wholesome and substantial and the food is prepared on site by a team of chefs, headed up by Georges Delorme.
Pierreponts is small and busy, so they recommend booking in advance. I did not, and cunningly arrived at 11 am, prime coffee-break time, but luckily it was a dry and fairly warm morning so I took a seat outside. A selection of snuggly blankets is provided for outdoor diners to warm their knees.
Coffee and flapjack fantastic
My short reviews will always be based on my daily tipple, a cappuccino, and a slice of whatever looks nice. I chose a flapjack, which was large and perfect, but I could easily have tucked into any of the cakes on offer. The counter was groaning under the weight of the bakes. I was bemoaning the lost art of the scone just the other day. It’s not lost at Pierreponts. Theirs are huge, homely and come in a variety of flavours.
Sustainability and caring for the environment is at the heart of Pierreponts ethos. Their meat, vegs, eggs and even wine all come from local producers. They encourage the use of reusable coffee cups by offering a discount for anyone who brings one in for their takeaway. Plastic straws have been ditched in favour of biodegradable ones and all of their tea is bag free!
This policy must undoubtedly eat into their profit margin. I hope that their customers appreciate that this commitment to sustainability and supporting local producers is what sets them apart from other cafes and restaurants on the high street.
Go and spend some money at Pierreponts if you are ever in the neighbourhood. You will not be disappointed.
Pierreponts love local policy extends to crafters and designers who have a small space in the shop to sell their goods. Cards, jewellery, Easter eggs and knitted chickens (what else?) were on the shelves when I visited.
I would love your suggestions of independent cafes and coffee shops to visit. I tend to drink my cappuccino in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and London. Sometimes Cornwall, if I am really lucky.